Tips and Advice

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Holiday Advice for the Summer

7th August 2012

Holiday Advice for the Summer

Enjoy a pain-free summer holiday!

The last thing you want is back pain to ruin that dream getaway. Chiropractor Fiona Webb says that 47% of the population suffer from back pain and it is often when people are on holiday, out of their normal routine, that things go wrong. So be aware of the potential pitfalls before and during your holiday with these useful tips.

Before you go….

Suitcase selection – Choose wisely and try to buy the lightest case possible that has wheels. Hard cases can sometimes weigh a lot before you even start to fill them.

Two cases are better than one – If possible take two light suitcases rather than one, so you can distribute the weight more easily.

Push, don’t pull! – Many wheeled cases encourage you to pull the case handle from behind, but this makes the upper body/back twist. If possible, push the case in front of you.

Get a good night’s sleep – Travelling when tired increases your chances of injury, so make sure you sleep well the night before a long journey and avoid rushing around.

Driving you round the bend…

Make adjustments – Many back problems are caused or aggravated poor driving posture. If you’re driving to your holiday destination, ensure the seat position is slightly backwards so that it feels natural and that your elbows are at a comfortable and relaxed angle.

Relaxing – Relax at the wheel, as this reduces stress on the spine and allows your seat to take your weight.

Take regular breaks – Stop and stretch your legs (and arms!) at least every two hours.

Clench your cheeks – If you are stuck in traffic, exercise in your seat. Try buttock clenches, side bends and shoulder shrugs and circles.

Leave the tight clothes at home – They will restrict your movement.

Up, Up and Away….

Flying high – If you’re flying, avoid alcohol during the flight as this will cause you to dehydrate. This can exaggerate muscle pain, so drink plenty of water instead.

Air-exercise – You will be restricted to your seat for most of the flight but avoid stiffness by doing shoulder shrugs, buttock clenches and foot circles. Take the opportunity to get up and stretch your legs whenever you can.

“Chiropractic is best known for treating back and neck pain,” says Fiona, “but patients also consult chiropractors regarding a variety of other conditions. Treatment involves gentle, specific spinal movements to allow joints that are stiff to begin moving properly.”

Fiona works at Kingsbridge Chiropractic Clinic (01548 852542) and at Nature’s Larder in Ivybridge (01752 894197).

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